Category Archives: Travel

Holiday Gift Guide 2020

This year’s big gift guide is full of all of my favorite things – items I love, items I’ve gifted and even items on my own wishlist for Santa. More than ever, there are a lot of cozy items for staying home and versatile items for all your loved ones in 2020.

I recommend shopping early for shipping times and checking back often as I will try to keep this post updated with new sales throughout the holiday season.

 Be sure to send along this post to Santa or drop a hint if you see something you love too!

 I know 2020 has been a difficult and very different year for many (myself included) but I hope you are able to set aside some time to celebrate and enjoy, even if it may look a little different this year.

As always, thank you for all your support when you shop and use my links. 

Holiday Gift Guide 2020

  1. Hill House Ellie Nap Dress: This year’s biggest hit for staying home. It’s perfect for all the new moms in your life too. The Swiss Dot white Ellie dresses are lovely to sleep in too! Right now, you can always receive $20 OFF your purchase with my link here.

2. LumiSpa Cleansing Device: Any skincare junkie will love this to wash their face!

3.  ToteSavvy Tote or Diaper Bag Insert: For the mom-to-be or new mom, love this organizer for her favorite tote. It comes in a few colors and is on SALE for $20 OFF. They have a larger deluxe size on sale too.

4. Night Silk Face Mask: Because it’s 2020 and silk is best for the maskne.

5. Giftcard to Cherry: If you’re shopping for someone local to Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston or Austin, a giftcard to Cherry for a mobile mani-pedi is the perfect gift. They can use code: BANNC for $10 OFF their first service. There is a great sale on mani-pedi packs right now as well.

6. Equilibria CBD Calm Set: This particular set from Equilibria has CBD bath salts, oil and cream and just sold out but there is a similar one here that is just as great!

7. Nespresso Advent Calendar: For all the coffee lovers in your life!

8. Winc Wine Box or Subscription: Winc is a great idea to send to those you might be not able to see this year for 40% off or 4 bottles for $39 + Free Shipping HERE or you can gift monthly subscription boxes too.

9. Hill House Clean Laundry Candle: Such a beautiful candle and gift box! They have a few scents but this one is great for year round. Again, you can always receive $20 OFF your purchase  of $100 or more with my link here 

10. Hydracy Water Bottle: This is a great gift for all the fitness lovers in your life. It tracks your water intake each day and pops open with a click of the button. You can use code BAC for 15% OFF this bottle and anything else.


holiday gift guide 2020

11. Fab Fit Fun Winter Box: The winter box is full of some amazing FULL sized products that can be customized and is perfect to gift at $49 for a $200+ value. Use code BANNC.

12. Barrington St. Anne Tote: This is the best tote from Dallas-based Barrington! It can be customized in 100s of ways and monogramed.

13. Pura Device & Fragrances: A Pura device for the home would be the prefect gift for just about anyone. You can use code BRITTNEYANN for 15% OFF devices and one-time fragrance purchases plus they have some great gift sets right now too. Nordstrom also has some sets here.

14. Jordan Winery Gift Set: Jordan is always a favorite spot to visit in California and is a nice way to support CA vineyards after all the fires this year.  I highly recommend sending one of their gift sets.

15. Away Mini Travel Kit: For those who may have to travel soon, this kit from Away is perfect. Plus you can get $20 OFF with my link here.

16. Mostess Boxes: Another way to shop small and support a local Texas business would be to gift one of these boxes. Mostess has the most adorable curated items for all your favorite hostess and cocktail lovers. Right now, they’re having a sale up to 50% off too.

17. Sid Mashburn Mocassin Loafers: For the men in your life – these loafers are a classic, go with everything and I’m told they’re very comfortable too. Right now, they have a buy more, save more SALE and these are $50 OFF!

18. French Lavender Candle: Another way to shop small and support a local Florida business!  My cousin has so many of my favorite candles in her shop online.

19. A Bottle of Veuve Clicquot: When in doubt, send a celebration! Apps like Drizly and others make it easy to send a bottle to your favorite bubbly lover or to toast for a virtual holiday season.

20. Hadley LLC Tweed Headband:  This is another pick from my cousin’s store. I love all her headbands here and they would make perfect stocking stuffers too.

21. Hempathy Body Lotion: Vogue has called Hempathy the perfect companion to all your favorite skincare brands and I could not agree more. This would be such a nice pampering gift to give someone and you can get 15% OFF your first purchase.

22. Away Bigger Carry On Suitcase with Pocket & Battery: For the travel lover in your life, who might be missing their skymiles and adventures this year –  this is the best gift there could be! Both the bigger carry on and the pocket version are great. You can use my link for $20 off. They are also having a great sale on sets right now. 


Holiday Gift Guide 2020

23. Pack of Raffia Headbands: The perfect Amazon stocking stuffer pack of headbands for under $13.

24. Nest Holiday Ornament Candle: Another stocking stuffer or hostess idea is this adorable mini Nest candle.

25. Skincare Mini Fridge: If you have a skincare obsessed one in your life, look no further than this mini fridge for all their favorite products.

26. Barefoot Dreams Baby Socks: For all the new babies, I love love these socks! They come in 3 color packs.

27. Lake Pajamas – The best PJs to gift (or ask for) and they now have various colors x styles on sale t00.

28. Tula Eye Balm Gift Set – Tula is known for its eye balms so this gift set is a great value ($90) and you can get 15% off with BRITTNEYANN

29. Wine Decanter: For the wine lovers in your life – another great gift.

30. American Royals & American Royals II Majesty Books: These are easily my favorite books I’ve read lately. For all your book lovers who enjoy the royals and DC, this set would be perfect to gift. The author is also from Texas!

31. Slip Silk Scrunchies: Another nice stocking stuffer or gift exchange idea.

32. Sleeping Lip Mask: This is a great pampering gift for anyone too and if you’re looking for a make up gift – this Charlotte Tilbury set now comes in a mini version.

33. Filson Passport & Card Case: I gifted this a few years ago and it was a big hit. It’s great for the men in your life and easy to personalize. Amazon also had a few available.

34. Barefoot Dreams Baby Blanket: Another recommendation for new babies!

35. Men’s Leather Shearling Lined Slippers: These are the best men’s slippers! They’re more expensive but last for years. Pro tip: if the size you need is backordered, reserve at a store and call them – they can ship to you!


Holiday Gift Guide 2020

36. Ocean Mist and Sea Salt Candle: This is a great option for a scent that is not overwhelming and would be pleasing for anyone. Of course, you can shop more classics here.

37. Silk Eye Mask: For the traveling and staying home – this silk eye mask is a splurge that many will not buy for themselves (which is my favorite type of gift!).

38. Always Pan: For all the chefs and newlyweds in your life, the pan that has been everywhere this year! Pair it with one of my favorite classic aprons and you’re all set for a kitchen gift.

39. Nécessaire Body Wash: I can’t even tell you how many people I am gifting one of these scents too – it’s great (and clean) for everyone!

40. Women’s Barefoot Dreams Slippers: With more cozy in mind this year, these would be nice slippers for mom or grandma too.

41. Nécessaire Exfoliator: Along with the body wash, this would be nice to gift too, I love the Eucalyptus one for an at-home spa experience.

42. Wanderlust Blocks Set: Aunt BAC highly approves of these wanderlust blocks for all those future travelers. There are also other cities from around the world that you can shop from this local Dallas company too (15% OFF right now).

43. Monogram Passport Case – Another idea for your favorite traveler are these customized passport cases. They have a few colors and are on sale right now for $24.

44. Record Player :For the musical men and women in your life, this record player comes in a few colors and is the perfect size. Pick up a few of their favorite artists on record too!

45. Freedom Moses Sandals: These sandals live up to the hype! A neutral color would be nice to gift – I have the gold and love them.

46. Name Bracelet: Another idea for a mom to be or mom. This company is also small and local to Texas.

47. Leather Airpod Case Holder: I picked these up for my dad a few years ago and he loves them. If you’re gifting anyone airpods this year, be sure to grab a case.

48. Magazine Subscriptions: One of my favorite stocking stuffers that keeps on giving is gifting Magazine Subscriptions (Southern Living and Travel + Leisure are a few favorites) and with Amazon you can get some great deals starting at only $5!

49. Men’s Filson Travel Dopp Kit: Another classic for all the men in your life that will last for years and travels to come.


Holiday Gift Guide 2020

50. Dr. Zenovia Moisturizer: With winter coming, this is a great gift and highly recommend all her products for maskne this year too.

51. On Cloud Running Shoe: This one is on my list this year! Great for fitness lovers and for all those long walks.

52. LEEF CBD Soap: Stocking stuffer that comes in a variety of scents.

53. Gray Malin Italy Book: Another pick for your travel lover’s coffee table along with the Escape or the Beaches books.

54. Barefoot Dreams Unisex Robe: I have gifted this to ladies and men and it’s a classic!

55.  Skincare: The Ultimate No-Nonsense Guide Book: Also on my list this year!

56.  Barbour Classic Scarf: For your Barbour jacket lovers, the perfect scarf.

57. Leopard Raffia Headband: Another pick from a small and local Texas business – this is the year of the headband.

58. Facial Steamer :I have talked about this on stories but this is perfect for those you have no idea what to get and who love to pamper themselves. It’s also nice for this year when spa and facial visits are missing. It’s a great price under $50.

59. Custom Photo Ornament: For the grandparents!

60. Men’s Workout Shorts: These are the best men’s shorts from Lululemon, they have pockets and are for working out or swim. I like the black and navy classics.

61. Beautycounter Hand Softening Set: Beautycounter gift sets are a great idea for your sister, mom, grandma, best friend and more – this hand luxury set is also quite fitting for this year.

62.  Jo Malone Perfume Gift Set: This perfume set is great to break up for stockings and gift exchanges but also nice to gift so that someone can try a few scents as Jo Malone’s are meant for layering. This set includes 2 of my favorites too and is on SALE for 15% OFF right now.

63. Heart Coffee Mug Set – For your coffee and tea lovers.

Holiday Gift Guide 2020


64. Barefoot Dreams Blanket: A classic for anyone and a great at-home splurge too!

65. Gray Malin Kids Book: I love these books for kids!

66. Men’s Barbour Jacket: This is my rec for a classic men’s jacket! Tuckernuck is also having an amazing buy more, save more sale from 20%-30% OFF with code: BIGSALE.

67. Rewined Rosé Candle: Another favorite candle to gift – made from old wine bottles and handpoured in Charleston.

68. Cashmere Lounge Set: Hoodie Pullover and Joggers: The coziest set as we head into winter! Summersalt is having so many great sales these last few weeks. They have gifts with purchase, $20 OFF, free shipping and more surprises + bundles each day. Their new fleeces and PJ sets are great options too.

69. Fuzzy Nonslip Slippers: For an affordable Amazon find, these are the perfect gift. They have memory foam and are super comfortable. Many slipper options this year but that is 2020!

70. Wine Simple Book: More for the wine lovers or those who are new to drinking wine. Pair this with a bottle.

71. Drybar Blowdryer Gift Set: This particular set sold out but there is a similar one here on SALE for 15% OFF right now. It is a classic H&T rec every year and I would also recommend this brush blowdryer (it blows the Revlon version away!).

72. Diamond Initial Necklace: Kendra Scott’s fine jewelry line is one of my favorites. This initial necklace would be great for any woman in your life and new moms too. I also am loving all their new engraving options.

73. Silk Pillow Case: Another option that most won’t buy themselves and great for hair and skincare.

74. Truffle Travel Toiletry Case: These toiletry cases are more expensive but very durable and TSA-approved. They come in a few colors and another travel gift option.

75. Lululemon Align Workout Top: If you know a fitness or athleisure lover that is align legging obsessed, this new top is the perfect companion!

76. Bala Workout Weights: These are a must-have for all the fitness lovers and year of the virtual workout. If you need them sooner, there are some options here and here.

77. Tula Eye Masks: Another Tula pick this holiday season. I just stocked up myself for stocking stuffers for my sisters and stepmom.  You can get 15% off with code BRITTNEYANN

Holiday Gift Guide 2020

78.  Byredo Candle: A splurge for all the candle snobs!

79. Hydrating Sheet Mask: The best sheet masks for $6! I stocked up on these for stockings too.

80. Golden Goose Sneakers:  Another splurge but I love love this gold/silver combo and they go with everything.

81. Derma-E Brightening Eye Patches: Love these clean eye patches to gift too.

82. Restoring Hand Cream: Another 2020 item with all the hand sanitizer, this luxury hand cream would be great for mom or grandma.

83. HRH Royal Style Book – For the royal lovers!

84. Birdie Fur Slippers: My last slipper idea – these are selling out fast but they have many other styles here.

85. Mini NuFace: The Number One seller on H&T this year should be number one on your list to gift or ask for! It’s currently 15% OFF here too. I saved a video on my Instagram profile if you missed it.

86. Men’s Outdoor Voices Shirts: Best men’s shirts for working out or casual wear.

87. Pearl Face Mask Chain: Because it’s 2020 and everyone needs a cute mask chain for work and errands. Also from a local favorite.

88. Simplified Daily Planner: Simplified is having a sale on their 2021 planners and they have many different styles.

89. Diptyque Candle Gift Set:  These holiday sets are also a great rec for a candle lover.

Holiday Gift Guide 2020

Holiday Gift Guide 2020

90. Lele Sadoughi Face Masks: From the brand that makes the nicest hair accessories, these masks are some of the best made. There is a set of 3 on sale here and a few more patterns on sale here.

91. Gingham Baby Hooded Towels: These baby towels monogrammed are also a favorite to gift.

92. Charlotte Tilbury Mini Bronze and Contour Duo: This is such a great price for this duo for a stocking stuffer, gift exchange or small gift. I use the large size and it’s normally $68 so under $30 is a steal and it’s the best of the best IMO.

93. Hand Soap & Lotion + Candle Set: I bought this Gardenia set for my grandma. It’s also a lovely hostess gift and great for a guest bathroom.

94.  Drybar’s Double Shot Brush Blowdryer: This is a perfect gift for someone who has everything! I have one for myself and gifted it too. Not to be cheesy but it blows the Revlon version away, doesn’t get too hot, smooths and styles your hair and is worth the splurge. Sephora also has it if you prefer to shop there.

95. Men’s Medium Duffel Bag: Another classic men’s item! This is the perfect size.

96. Luxe Hair Towel Wrap: Great for everyone and there is waffle option here.

97. Williams-Sonoma Classic Apron: This apron is a classic and perfect addition to a kitchen-related gift. I love all of the colors and have a few myself. French blue is also nice!

98. Portable Baby Mat: This portable baby mat is an Aunt BAC pick this year. It’s foldable, easy to carry and can be personalized.

99. Kids Toy Straw Basket: One more pick from Aunt BAC to carry around all the toys!

100. Lululemon Belt Bag: And last but not least – A great price for a Lululemon pick at under $40. I wear mine hiking, on walks and while traveling sometimes. It clips around your waist or shoulder and has convenient pockets.

Merry Everything and Happy Shopping!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Holiday season.

The Broadmoor Cloud Camp and Ranch at Emerald Valley Experience

I’m so excited to share today’s travel post with you. So many of you reached out about this trip and wanted to know more so here we go!  If you have been following along on instagram, you know that I recently took a trip in October to Colorado and Utah. Well today I will be sharing my stay at The Broadmoor and its wilderness properties in beautiful Colorado Springs.

Also, just a heads up that if you didn’t catch it on my Instagram stories or posts – I saved a highlights for each spot on my profile – here, here and here.

Lucky for those of you in the Dallas-Fort Worth area – Colorado Springs is only a quick 1.5 hour flight away. It is also a reasonable road trip if you are not comfortable flying right now. It was my first time staying in the Colorado Springs area and I was so impressed with how easy it was to get to and also, how close The Broadmoor is to the airport (just a 20 minute Uber or car ride).

The Broadmoor

The Broadmoor

This was also my first time at the property as it’s been on my list for awhile now. I am in love with their sister property on the East Coast, Sea Island and The Broadmoor was absolutely everything I imagined out West and more. From its history to impeccable customer service, no detail is missed.

We started by checking in at the main resort and were greeted by the hotel’s assistant manager, Alan, who set the hospitality expectations high for this trip! Afterward, we had a quick lunch at The Grille overlooking the 18th at the picturesque golf course. This was just enough time to recharge following our morning flight and fuel up for what was next.


For the first part of our stay, we were headed to Cloud Camp, a one of a kind wilderness experience at 9200+ feet on the top of Cheyenne Mountain. By now, you probably know how much I love this magical place. It completely stole our hearts – from the mule ride up to the hike down, yoga and stargazing hot tubs, award-winning dining & s’mores -it’s a luxury wilderness experience like no other that is truly like camp for adults and a perfect fit for yours truly!

Yes, mule rides up! I had some of you ask if this was the only way up. However, you also have the option to take the Broadmoor Escalades all the way to the top or you can stop about half way at the mule stables where you can hitch a ride the rest of the way – which I highly recommend.

Cloud Camp

The fall weather was absolutely perfect and we were guided by the fabulous Alicia up to the top. Truth be told, my mule Binxton was a lot larger than I expected (essentially the size of a horse) but he was my new best friend by the end. It was such a memorable experience up the private road with gorgeous mountain views and stunning fall foliage. The ride takes about 45 minutes or so and our luggage was sent up in the car awaiting our arrival. Also awaiting our arrival was Lisa, Cloud Camp’s incredible manager, who gave us a tour of the property before we headed to our own cabin.

I found this MAP of Cloud Camp super helpful to get an idea of what it’s like there. 

 We stayed in the one bedroom Mount Rosa cabin with a loft which was lovely and perfect for social distancing these days plus it was near some of the outdoor hot tubs!  (You can see a full tour of our cabin HERE.) We were greeted in our cabin with a bottle of red wine and wellness kits with hand sanitizers and wipes – such a nice touch these days and much appreciated.

Cloud Camp

Cloud Camp

For other accommodation options, they have rooms in the main lodge as well as different sized cabins plus the Fire Tower Suite.

Additionally, what is also so wonderful about Cloud Camp is that it’s an all-inclusive experience – meaning that your rate includes just about everything during your stay. All your meals, snacks, drinks, transportation and an abundance of activities. It’s really incredible and well worth the expense in my opinion.

During our stay we enjoyed the evening cooking club which is a tradition there as well cocktails on the deck overlooking Colorado Springs. Dinner each evening is a delicious 4-5 course meal (come hungry! there are many surprise courses & options!) in the gorgeous lodge dining room near the fireplace. Meals are served at set times and it’s such a perfect spot to meet other guests. Typically, everyone is at one big table but due to COVID, they separated everyone by party, however, it’s still a really welcoming and safe atmosphere.

Cloud Camp

Cloud Camp

There is a flag ceremony each evening and s’mores by the fire after dinner. We enjoyed early morning yoga with Allie, gorgeous outdoor hot tubs in the woods for stargazing after dinner, guided hikes with Kate and of course, the mule ride. A note about the hot tubs because I receive some questions – they are open for everyone to use, we just “hiked” down in our robes from our cabin nearby and right now, they require a reservation so it’s private and all set up for you complete with fresh towels and bottled waters (bring your wine, if you’d like!).

This place is the perfect spot to disconnect some and enjoy the outdoors (no TV’s but don’t worry, there’s wifi and cell service!) . It would be such a nice choice for a honeymoon, babymoon, anniversary trip or a couples trip too. I seriously cannot wait for our next stay and I highly recommend the mule ride UP and guided hike DOWN scenario (send the bags!).

Cloud Camp Cloud Camp

Cloud Camp

Every moment is taken care of, carefully planned and is luxury service at its finest. The other item to note about CC is that it’s a seasonal experience so it typically opens in April or May and will close up sometime in October pending the weather. However, they do have the option to book the entire property for the holidays – how amazing would a family Thanksgiving or Christmas be at CC? What a dream!

After our hike back down to the main resort – we grabbed lunch outside on the lake at The Hotel Bar and then Ashleigh happily helped us check into our next wilderness experience – The Ranch at Emerald Valley.


Just like Cloud Camp, the beautiful Ranch at Emerald Valley is also all-inclusive and full of so much to do – a true luxury ranch experience. It would be the perfect place to take your kids or for a family reunion (which they host plenty of!). It sits at about 8400 feet in the heart of the Pike National Forest. For transportation, the Broadmoor fleets also take you to and from this special secluded place.

Ranch at Emerald Valley The Ranch’s friendly manager, Craig, greeted us with Fall sweets (gluten free for me!) and a welcoming tour. We had arrived just in time for happy hour (which we are told is all the time!). This MAP was also helpful in getting to know the property.

I was so impressed again here with the staff and level of service – nothing like it. The Ranch at Emerald Valley also has a main lodge with a bar and dining room along with a porch and camp fires outside.

Ranch at Emerald ValleyRanch at Emerald Valley

We stayed in the Fir Cabin, which was right next to the main lodge and near the lakes. The historic cabin had heated floors and its own fireplace – and we certainly needed it as we woke up to 30-something degrees (you can also see more of our cabin HERE). Both Cloud Camp and The Ranch at Emerald Valley really cool off in the evenings and mornings so packing layers is highly recommended.

We spent the afternoon with a fly fishing lesson (my first time!) and then fly fishing at our leisure with cocktails. They have so many activities to choose from – horseback riding on autumn trails, archery, hiking on trails of all levels, canoeing, kayaking,  fishing, lawn games, horse shoes, outdoor hot tubs and more. There is lots to do for kids too and it’s a very family friendly spot.

Everything at the Ranch is very laid back, on “mountain time”, as they like to say. Before dinner we enjoyed hot toddy’s outside followed by a delicious meal – lobster for me! They also have delicious s’more kits for the lodge fires but we opted for extra wine outside instead.

Ranch at Emerald Valley

Ranch at Emerald Valley

Ranch at Emerald Valley

Oh yes, and I’d be doing you a disservice if I failed to mention the Cowboy Coffee! One of my favorite things about the REV was this coffee! It’s made with love and mud and starts flowing by the fire early in the morning. It was so delicious that I even took one to-go for our fall hike one morning and fishing. Be sure to try a cup (or two!).

On the morning we left, we took a quick trail hike through the forest full of Aspen trees and other fall foliage with mountains and creeks all around. At the end of our hike, we decided to canoe across the lake back to the lodge. It was seriously the most perfect morning and activities like this are what make this place so special. There was one else around and all of the activities there are mainly outdoors and most importantly, felt very safe right now.

Ranch at Emerald Valley

Just like CC, REV has a seasonality to it due to the seasons so it typically will close for a few months by Halloween each year. Also, fun fact – if you’re up for it, you could actually hike from CC to REV too!


For our last night at The Broadmoor, we stayed at the main resort and checked into a Southlake Suite with lake views and a lovely patio. The suite was gorgeous with a fireplace, a bathroom full of monogrammed “B” towels (perfect for me!), a living room and separate bedroom. The Southlake Suites are also separate from the larger hotel towers so it felt very private and quiet.

The Broadmoor

The Broadmoor

The Broadmoor Spa

While golf is a main activity at the BM – so is the Broadmoor Spa, which was divine with mountain view relaxation rooms and I checked myself in. It was truly the perfect way to relax and spend the afternoon after all of our many activities at CC and REV. This was my first facial after a long hiatus and I opted for the Legacy Facial along with dermaplaning with Ashleigh – complete with a fresh mask at the end. I left with glowing and bright skin. Masks were required in all areas of the spa as well.

After the spa, we headed to dinner at La Taverne, the Broadmoor’s legendary steakhouse.  We ordered oysters (east coast and west coast) with champagne, the tuna appetizer, steak and dessert with a port tasting. Our waiter, Aaron, was so helpful in picking our menu items and like everywhere at the Broadmoor, so welcoming and hospitable.

The Broadmoor La Taverne

Another item I found really interesting was all the wine on display in the hallways outside the restaurant. Being the wine nerds we are, we enjoyed seeing all the old empty bottles from all over the world that were stored there during prohibition.

The next morning we had breakfast in the Lake Terrace Dining Room (gluten free avocado toast for me!). I also have to say that if you have any food allergies, I found all of the experiences to be extremely accommodating with many suitable options.

After breakfast, we headed out on the road to Aspen for the weekend and then onto Moab, Utah to check two new national parks off our list.

The Broadmoor absolutely blew me away – each 5 star experience was one-of-a-kind and I found that there is something for everyone. They have also done quite an excellent job with COVID pre-cautions and a “B” safe motto – masks are required indoors, around others and everything is set up to be socially distant and safe without losing its hospitality, charm and famous service.

The Broadmoor COVID The Broadmoor COVID

Please let me know if you have any other questions or if you’re planning a trip too!

I think it would be so fun to stay at the BM with kids in the summertime with their pools or holidays with all their decorations. And if you want my recommendation, if you have kids, I think it would be so nice to bring them  (+grandparents or an aunt like me) to the resort and then sneak away for a night at Cloud Camp too!

Special thank you to The Broadmoor and their team for an incredible stay this fall!

Boca Grande with The Gasparilla Inn & Club

My sister and I had a wonderful girls weekend getaway thanks to The Gasparilla Inn & Club in Boca Grande, Florida. Boca Grande is just a short drive south of Tampa (under 2 hours) and the National Historic Landmark resort sits right on the heart of the beautiful and quaint Gasparilla Island along the Gulf Coast. The Inn is easily accessible by air, car or boat (you could fly into Ft. Myers, Sarasota or Tampa too).

The Gasparilla Inn takes on the motto of “Florida as it was meant to be” and I don’t think another statement could more accurately describe this little slice of heaven in the sunshine state. If you are not familiar with this area, it is unlike any other in Florida and it is no wonder that it has been named the #1 resort in Florida.

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From the welcoming staff to the charming appearance, “Old Florida” traditions and historic buildings (open since 1913), there are not many places like this in the state or country for that matter. The beauty of Boca Grande and its beloved banyan trees, relaxing and laid back nature make it perfect for a family friendly vacation, romantic trip for two or for a girls weekend (like my sister and I enjoyed sans the boys).


What is also so special is that the Gasparilla Inn stays true to its seasonal traditions, dress codes and southern comforts by following a seasonal opening. Typically this runs October through the 4th of July so now is the time to go! Since it is the largest surviving wooden hotel in Florida and one of the state’s first resorts, (Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and even Hollywood beauties like Katherine Hepburn have also stayed here), the Inn closes for the rest of the Summer through early Fall in order to help preserve the building.

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While I had been to Boca Grande growing up and even got to see a close friend get married there, this was the first long weekend I had spent at the Inn in recent years and let me tell you, it did not disappoint one bit.

We were greeted and spoiled upon arrival with a knock at our suite’s door and a tray full  of rosé and sparkling waters (my favorites!). The suite was absolutely beautiful and felt just like a home. Each room also comes with tempur-pedic beds and bath amenities by L’Occitane. The day before we arrived, the Inn had just wrapped up a beautiful event with Garden and Gun (also one of my favorites!).



Where To Eat

Miller’s Marina: After we dropped our bags and picked up our light blue golf cart, we headed on over to Miller’s for a delicious casual lunch full of fresh seafood (think: peel n’ eat shrimp) on the dock.

The Main Dining Room: Our first night, we were spoiled at the Inn in the Main Dining Room for dinner. We enjoyed more rosé, shrimp cocktails, Key West shrimp bisque, tomato salad, beet salad, salmon, grouper, espresso chip, strawberry & vanilla ice cream, espresso, among cappuccinos and yes, champagne. How did two girls eat all this? I’m still not sure but everything was absolutely delicious and the service was beyond hospitable too.

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The Outlet: Just down the road from the Inn, we enjoyed a comfort heavy breakfast (think scrambled eggs, toast, diner coffee, your grandma’s type of cooking) at The Outlet. It was little too hot that day to sit out on the dock but that option is always there too.

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South Beach Bar & Grille: We headed to the end of the Island to enjoy drinks at South Beach one afternoon (and also found ourselves conveniently stranded due to a Florida afternoon thunderstorm).


The Pink Elephant: On our last night, we enjoyed another delicious meal at a Boca Grande and Gasparilla Inn staple – The Pink Elephant. Truth be told, the time before I spent there was at the bar after my friend’s wedding events each evening but the food is delicious too! We started with cucumber crushes, tuna tartare and pimento and finished with mahi mahi and swordfish for our main dishes. Again, how did the two of us eat all this? I think the sun must work up your appetite.

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The Loose Caboose: Before we left on our last day, we had a casual lunch at the Loose Caboose (also known for its ice cream) in town with salads and grilled shrimp and diet coke to go (for yours truly, of course).

Hudson’s Grocery: This little gem with its pink old gas pump out front is also a staple store for groceries and other necessities if you’re staying longer or book one of the Inn’s cottages.


What To Do

The Beach Club: Head to the Beach Club to soak up some sun on a private beach (complete with yellow umbrellas) or lounge by the pool. There are also dining options available here.

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Explore the Island: There are a handful of local shops and better known ones in the small town of Boca Grande. I made my sister drive our blue golf cart all weekend long and the easiest + most popular way to get around is by golf cart. There is also a historical light house that is worth checking out too. Head to Banyan Street for some of the prettiest trees in the South.

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Outdoor Activities: For those that want more outdoor activities there is golf, bicycle rentals, kayaks, croquet and inshore/offshore guided fishing expeditions (if you didn’t BYOB – boat, that is).

The Spa at Gasparilla Inn: Last but certainly not least, I would recommend checking yourself into the Spa for a few hours. We were also spoiled here with “Taste of Gasparilla” massages plus a few add-ons that included guava anti aging butter for me and extra aromatherapy for my sister. The massage also includes reflexology, stones and I opted for a ginger lily scalp massage. Both Melissa and Erika come highly recommended by my sister and I for services.


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Shop some of the items I packed below.

Special thank you to The Gasparilla Inn & Club for hosting us for the weekend.

All opinions are my own.

Bimini Travel Guide


If you have been following along on Instagram and Snapchat, you know that I recently celebrated a big birthday and to do so, went on a trip with my sister to the gorgeous islands of Bimini. I am so excited to share with you all about our trip!


Where is Bimini?

First up! Where in the world is Bimini?

Thanks to The Bachelor this past season, many of you might be familiar with this little place of paradise but for those who are not, Bimini is part of The Bahamas and it is the western most chain of islands. This means that it is technically the closest to the United States and only about 50 miles off the coast of Miami – making it super easy to get to for all you Sunshine State-ers like myself.  I must add that even though it’s just 50 miles from Miami, it truly feels like a world away.

Bimini is best known for its fishing, rumrunners back in the day and beautiful turquoise clear waters. Legend has it that Ponce de León found the Fountain of Youth here. Other greats like Hemingway (Islands in the Steam was set in Bimini), Martin Luther King, Jr. (wrote part of his “I Have a Dream” speech here) and my favorite parrothead, Jimmy Buffett, also enjoyed Bimini and its beauty.


How To Get There

Many people get to Bimini by boat (or yacht, ha!). There is also a ferry service now from South Florida and of course, there is the option to fly! We boarded a pink plane a la Silver Airways out of Miami since we spent the day before down there. It is about 15-20 minutes once in the air and there is also the option to take Tropic Air and land right on the water in a seaplane.

Once we arrived in South Bimini (where the bright colored airport below is located), we took a quick taxi to the resort ferry and headed across to the island of North Bimini.


What To Expect

If you’ve been to more touristy parts of the Bahamas, Bimini is quite the opposite. It’s made up two small islands.  North Bimini is only 7 miles long and most people travel by golf cart around the island (I recommend renting one during your stay) and you might miss the town square if you blink. With that being said, it’s absolutely beautiful, Biminites are quite friendly people and the local spots and beautiful waters were our absolute favorite part of the trip.

What To Bring 

Sandals, bathing suits, hats and plenty of sunscreen! I brought along a beach tote full of my favorite Hampton Sun products too.

Bimini is very casual and truth be told, I didn’t wash my hair once on this trip (thank you, Drybar). It smelled like sunscreen and salt water by the end and I did not mind one bit.

I’ve included some more of my looks below and links to other ones as well throughout the post. Oh yes and don’t forget your passport.





{Off the Shoulder Dress c/o & Pink Tassel Earrings c/o}


{Tassel Earrings – Kendra Scott}


Where To Stay

Resorts World Bimini offers an array of world class amenities, as well as homes, condos and of course, the Hilton property (where we stayed for the week). Not only is there breathtaking views of Bimini Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, but the resort also has several pools including a rooftop and an infinity one, a serenity spa, private beaches and numerous dining options and offshore excursions.

Our room at the Hilton was beautiful with two comfortable beds, an amazing bathroom and shower and while we spent most of our time by the pool or on Paradise Beach, it was a lovely place to come home to each evening.



What To Do

Head into Town!

If there is one thing you absolutely must do on your Bimini trip, it’s stop by for an afternoon at Stuart’s Conch Stand in Alice Town. The stand/bar is family owned and operated, and we had such a great time with the locals and visitors alike, that we went two days in a row. I recommend the conch salad, conch and lobster salad and the homemade rum knockout punch – it’s absolutely delicious, made each day and comes in convenient  to-go bottle. We tried another local conch stand too and having been to both, Stuart’s wins hands down! Truly, the conch and all the seafood in Bimini is brought right in off the boats, and would only be fresher if you ate it underwater.


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Heading to CJ’s for a fresh coconut drink on the local Radio Beach is also highly recommended by yours truly. A lot of the other friends we made along the way enjoyed Edith’s Pizza in town (for those that can eat gluten, Bahamian bread and crust, I’m told, is some of the best around).

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{Earrings c/o}

For those that love fishing, diving and snorkeling – Bimini will be your paradise. You can snorkel out to a shipwreck in the middle of the ocean and explore at Resorts World Bimini. And for those of you that do not enjoy sharks (like myself), you can still take in Bimini’s beautiful waters and a shipwreck up close at the Gallant Lady. It’s breathtaking at sunset and there are resort trams that can also take you there.


After long days on Paradise Beach, under yellow umbrellas on blue and white striped chairs (rum drinks in hand), my sister and I enjoyed several of the restaurants at the resort. We had room service delivered in the mornings and enjoyed jerk chicken fries and fresh shrimp by the pool at Oasis. We also ate dinner at the Tides and the hotel has a lovely Raw Bar in the lobby with a happy hour. Leroy was our favorite bartender there! However, by far, our best meal on property was the sushi at The Sushi Bar where we ate the last night. It goes without saying that all of the seafood in Bimini (on property or off) did not disappoint.


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This trip was the perfect way to bring in a new decade and it’s easy to see why Hemingway, MLK Jr., Ponce de León and Jimmy Buffett loved it so much too.

I am counting down the days until I’m back! If you go, you have to let me know!

{Thank you to Resorts Word Bimini for hosting this media stay. All opinions are my own.}

Toasting: Charleston Stay at Zero George

I’m going away, perhaps to Charleston…forever? No, but really.


Charleston has always been one of my favorite cities to travel to and visit – whether it’s for a wedding, a Bachelorette (like my sister’s last year), the Blog Societies Conference or, of course, “just because”. I have always hoped that someday my life finds me there full (or part) time!

Before I even headed to Charleston on my most recent trip, I was spoiled at Spa Evangeline here in Tampa with a spa pedi and amazing HydraFacial MD®.  I also made sure this freckled Florida girl was perfectly sunkissed with a airbrush tan by my favorite Air Brush Tan by Shan.

Once I was beauty-ready, I was lucky enough to head up there for a long weekend full of reunions, blogging and dining (and wine-ing!) so today’s post will recap some more must-do’s if you’re planning a trip to the Holy City soon too (take me with you, K?).

(PRESS PLAY for my weekend in a nutshell with Jenn!)

Where To Stay

Zero George

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{Photo via}

This was my second stay with Zero George and as one would expect, it did not disappoint. Being greeted with a glass of bubbly upon check-in is my type of place and after being apart from my BFF Jenn for 6+ months, a “cheers” was certainly in order as she arrived from DC.

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Additionally, from the moment you step on property, the most accommodating staff is always present and goes above and beyond to make your stay the best possible. We were also surprised with precious gift bags from our friends at Candlefish with travel candles from their library collection and corresponding matches.


A European Style Breakfast is provided every morning along with a 24-hour Miele Coffee + Espresso Bar. Every evening from 5pm-6pm, guests enjoy a complimentary “Wine + Cheese Hour” (now you see why I LOVE this place?!). One evening we chose to have our wine and cheese boards brought to our room and enjoyed while we were primping. Another evening, we chose to have it brought our to one of the beautiful verandahs outside.

As it was Super-Summertime-Hot that weekend in Charleston, I opted for white wine (Jenn still enjoyed her red!). We also enjoyed additional bubbles at the bar!

Other amenities at Zero include complimentary mint bicycle rentals (see my attempt in wedges the above video) and gym passes (we skipped the gym this trip!).

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I think that one of the most charming parts about the individual guest rooms rooms is being surprised with which one you get! They’re all so unique and in different “houses” with original architecture. Charming, honestly, does not even begin to describe it, it feels just like you’re at home with beautiful white marble bathrooms and Malin + Goetz toiletries. Not to mention a perfectly curated mini bar with sparkling sodas, bottled water and a Nespresso machine that certainly came in handy for our early conference mornings.

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{Photos by Jenn}